2019 Biosecurity and Biosafety Research Projects Mini-Grant Opportunity for Iraq

Now Accepting Proposals for the 2019 Biosecurity and Biosafety Research Projects Mini-Grant Opportunity for Iraq

TEPHINET is pleased to announce the opportunity to submit mini-grant proposals for biosafety and biosecurity research projects. Graduates and residents from the Iraq Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) are welcome to submit multiple proposals. The implementation period for all investigations will be from July through September of 2019.

Application deadline

June 20, 2019 at 23:45 Eastern Time

Who can apply?

Current residents and graduates of the Iraq Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). Residents who graduate during the implementation period are eligible, with the support of their FETP.

Priority will be given to:
  • 2-year residents in the advanced FETP and graduates of the 2-year FETP
  • Applications related to one of the topic areas listed below
  • Personnel within the Ministry of Health (MOH)

Investigations should focus on biosafety and biosecurity, using applied field epidemiology. Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Laboratory and field biosafety
  • Laboratory and field biosecurity
  • Biosecurity elements
  • Hazards identification and risk assessment
  • Biosafety and biosecurity risk assessments
  • Outbreak investigation (infectious disease surveillance)
  • Translational research and biosafety, biosecurity issues
  • Field biosafety and biosecurity during outbreak investigation
  • Laboratory mitigation strategies while working with dangerous pathogens capacity assessments
  • Data collection for current approved research related to biosafety and biosecurity
How to apply

Individuals must complete the application form, with all required attachments, by the deadline of 23:45 Eastern Time on June 20, 2019.

Please note that you must be logged into your account on www.tephinet.org in order to view the application form. If you do not have an account, please create an account first by clicking the 'Register' button, and then log into the site to see the form.

The application form includes both a letter of intent and a full proposal. Please see below for the required components of each.

Please note that we will only accept letters of intent, proposals, and all other required documents in English.

If you have any questions about how to submit the application online, please email Peggy Defay at pdefay [at] tephinet [dot] org and Dr. Tarek Al-Sanouri at tsanouri [at] globalhealthdev [dot] org.


Six projects will be funded, and the average award amount is expected to be approximately $5,000 USD for each project. Please note that all awards are contingent upon available funding, and neither the total number of awards nor the individual amounts awarded are guaranteed.

Presentations and Publications

Awardees are expected to publish their findings in scholarly peer‐reviewed journals and to present their research at professional meetings. A final report/draft manuscript should be submitted along with a cleaned up database.

Letter of Intent

Individuals interested in submitting a proposal must also submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for each mini-grant application. Letters of Intent should be no more than two (2) pages each and should include:

  1. A descriptive title of the proposed project
  2. Contact information for the FETP resident principal investigator (name, address, and email address)
  3. If a Resident Advisor is present, contact information for the RA (name, address, and email address)
  4. Current year of FETP trainee (1st or 2nd) or year of graduation from FETP
  5. A brief summary of the biosafety and biosecurity issue and how you plan to address/study the issue
  6. Anticipated outcomes and/or impact of the project
  7. The names of participating institutions (e.g., Ministry of Health, University)
  8. Support letter from FETP in-country mentor(s) including their contact information for proposed project (name, job title, physical address, and current working relationship with applicant if applicable)

Full Proposal

The following materials will be required for submission:

  • Letter of support from FETP
  • National identification and your curriculum vitae (CV) with a separate narrative description of your current position
  • 100-250-word abstract
  • A one-page summary of your proposal (not to exceed one page of single-spaced text in 12-point font with standard margins) including the following sections:
    • Project title
    • Project leader and collaborators/significant participants
    • Source of request (e.g., the divisions/departments within the Ministry of Health that are supporting the field investigation)
    • The public health activity (i.e., description of your project)
    • Goal and main objectives (stated as public health purpose of the project)
    • Data and human subject involvement (describe type and source of data collected)
    • Reporting (i.e., what do you expect to report and to whom)
  • Full Proposal Document
    • Problem justification and definition
    • Specific aims (goals and objectives) (state goals in terms of public health purpose of the project)
    • Background and significance
    • Preliminary studies (if applicable)
    • Must indicate if Principal Investigator (PI) has received a prior mini-grant
    • Design and methods (include: investigation design; studied population; procedures related to data collection and data quality assurance; information on collaborating partners; etc.)
    • Interpretation and analysis plan (include: description of data collected; key table shells that show data organization; plans for tabulation, coding, and cleaning data; how will data be analyzed; etc.)
    • Reporting/dissemination plan for findings (include: description of planned reports; how findings will be disseminated; how you will communicate findings to partners; etc.)
    • Indicative project timeline (not counted in the 5-page limit)
    • Literature cited (not included in the 5-page limit)
    • A detailed budget with budget justification
    • State whether or not the project is scalable or has plans for expansion
    • Paragraph on community relevance (maximum 175 words) that includes the project title. Paragraph should answer the following question: "How important is funding this research to improving human health, either in the near or distant future, for that community?" Do not include your name, as this paragraph will get a blinded review.
    • Data use agreements (IMPORTANT: Prior to submitting a proposal, residents must verify that the data variables they plan to collect are actually being collected)
  • Must include letters of support from any collaborating institution/agency and mentor (e.g., police if using police data, hospital/laboratory if using hospital/laboratory data, etc.)
  • Applications will be read by international reviewers, so describe any system, data source, etc. that may not be familiar to those outside your own country.
Overall Evaluation Criteria

Applications should be well-written, precise, and succinct English. Applications will be subject to both scientific and programmatic review. The following criteria will be used in evaluating these proposals:

  • Significance of the research and its translational relevance
  • Scientific quality
  • Feasibility to complete the project in 3 months
  • Probability that the work will yield important new information and have lasting public health impact
  • Qualifications of the Principal Investigator and collaborators
  • Inclusion of a strong mentor in NCD or injury epidemiology from either the Ministry of Health or your FETP’s school of public health
Budget Guidelines

Please provide a detailed budget for how the funds will be used. All guidelines pertaining to allowable expenses on federal grants will be applicable for these awards. In addition, no funding will be provided for books and subscriptions, graduate student support and tuition remission, or stipends for principal investigators.